Austin Eggleston, 15, was born with three congenital heart defects, and has had five open heart surgeries and four pacemakers implanted during his young life. When it was determined last fall that he needed a heart transplant, Dr. Philip Thrush, a cardiologist at Lurie Children’s, promised that when the news that a heart was available came in, he would deliver it to Eggleston dressed as Chewbacca, since his young patient is a big “Star Wars” fan.
On March 17, after four long months of waiting, Eggleston got the news he had been hoping for. A donor heart was available and, true to his word, Thrush showed up in a full Chewbacca costume to fill his patient in on the good news. The heartwarming moment was captured on video:
When Chewbacca enters the room, making his signature noise, Eggleston asks incredulously, “Do we seriously have a heart?” before exclaiming, “Holy balls!”
He exchanges a double high-five with his doctor, aka Chewbacca, and jumps up and down in excitement. Finally, he and his doctor embrace, and Thrush lowers his mask to tell Eggleston, “I’m super-excited.”
What a sweet surprise! Eggleston’s transplant surgery was a success, and he’s looking forward to returning to school and to his normal life. For Eggleston’s mom, Mary Anglin, the moment she found out her son had a new lease on life was overwhelming.
“To see him knowing that he has a chance at life, that he has a chance to achieve so many things, leaves you speechless,” Anglin told ABC 7.
She says their family is immensely grateful to the family that donated their child’s heart so that hers could live. “He will make sure he does remarkable things because of it,” she said.
What an awesome some story! We wish Eggleston all the best with his continued recovery!